Piers Corbyn’s coronavirus restrictions trial delayed over disclosure

The trial of Piers Corbyn for allegedly breaking coronavirus restrictions has been delayed over the apparent late disclosure of prosecution material.

The 73-year-old weather forecaster, brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, denies breaching rules during two anti-lockdown protests in London’s Hyde Park on May 16 and 30.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard there appeared to have been an issue with delayed full disclosure of police logs relating to the incident, and District Judge Samuel Goozee allowed the defence and prosecution barristers extra time to sort the matter between themselves on Friday morning.

Piers Corbyn arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Piers Corbyn arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court

The judge said he wanted to get the trial under way on Friday, but added: “The Crown needs to comply with its disclosure obligations.

“These issues should have been dealt with between June and today.”

Corbyn, who wore a dark blue shirt and tie, was applauded as he arrived at the court, and was supported in the public gallery by around 10 people who handed out flyers to the press.

He was told off by the judge after his phone started ringing and for talking with his supporters in the at-capacity public gallery during the lull in the case.

Anti-lockdown demonstrators outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Anti-lockdown demonstrators outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court

Corbyn, of East Street, Southwark, south London, denies two counts of participating in a gathering in public of more than two people in England during the coronavirus emergency period relating to protests on May 16 and 30.

Speaking outside court earlier, he told reporters: “If we win today, this will set a precedent for all other people arrested under the Covid regulations. If we lose, we will appeal.

“Whatever happens, if they impose a fine, I will not pay the fine. I’m not going to pay any fines for these anti-just, illegal laws.”